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Home » U.S. Open-Grade Carnage Hits Early at the Memorial Tournament

U.S. Open-Grade Carnage Hits Early at the Memorial Tournament

On Sunday, the world’s top golfers were left reeling from a brutal setup that felt like a sneak peek of the U.S. Open.

The Memorial Tournament, known for its challenging course, truly tested players this time. Sunday’s average score nearly hit 75, marking it as the second-toughest PGA Tour round of the season. Even Scottie Scheffler, despite his four-over 74 final round, clinched the win. Shane Lowry, usually solid on tough courses, had a shocking Sunday with an 85. And yet, Jack Nicklaus says it could have been even worse.

During the press conference, Nicklaus reminisced about the 1979 Memorial Tournament. Back then, green speeds reached an absurd 17.5 on the Stimpmeter—modern Tour setups average around 13. Nicklaus found it so extreme that he confronted the course superintendent, ‘Ed,’ about it. ‘This is a golf tournament for a lot of people… I want ’em to enjoy it. I don’t mind it being tough, but we don’t make it ridiculous.’

Comparatively, no one called this year’s course ‘impossible,’ but it was undeniably tough. As Adam Hadwin, who finished third, put it, ‘The Band-Aid came off and it was carnage.’ The greens were particularly unforgiving, transitioning from receptive on Thursday to nearly impossible by Sunday. Collin Morikawa, finishing just one stroke behind Scheffler, noted the greens’ cruel inconsistency, making it hard to stop the ball within yards of the hole.

Scheffler, known for his consistent performance, only managed one birdie on Sunday. Jack Nicklaus praised him, saying, ‘You’re a survivor.’ Scheffler’s response? ‘Yeah, you made this place brutal today.’

With the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 approaching, players are bracing for another grueling test. Pinehurst’s layout promises fast, treacherous greens and challenging short-game shots. U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson warned, ‘You chip five balls, you’re probably going to chunk one of them.’

However, many players believe the ordeal at Muirfield Village served as valuable preparation. Hadwin felt it mirrored the challenges they’d face at Pinehurst. Morikawa agreed, appreciating the demanding conditions as a perfect lead-up to a major, despite the physical and mental drain.

Scheffler, eyeing Pinehurst with favorable 4-1 odds, embraces tough courses and views them as an opportunity to focus on execution. ‘Execute is really all I’m focused on… You have to be so committed to what you’re doing.’ His resolve remains strong as he prepares for the U.S. Open, fully aware of the challenges ahead.

As the golfers move from one grueling test to another, the Memorial Tournament has set a high bar for the challenges awaiting them at the U.S. Open. For Scottie Scheffler and his peers, the mantra is clear: Stay committed, focus on execution, and brace for the next battle.

Source: Golf


Paul Lewis is a lifelong golfing enthusiast who has dedicated his life to the game he loves. With a passion that has fueled his journey, Paul's unwavering commitment to golf has shaped him into a knowledgeable and experienced individual in the world of golf.

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